I’ve been thinking a lot about honesty. About how most of the difficulties I have encountered in my lifetime have had honesty, or the lack thereof, attached.
Not fully sold out to WHO I was created to be.
Just not forthright.
Like almost, but not quite because I’ll tell you what I think you want to hear.
So when I asked my son a question and he gave me an answere that was a little bit more real than I’d like, he said, “Do you want me to be honest?” I hesitated of course and gulped long and hard, but answered…
I often think of Jack Nicholson in the 1993 movie “A Few Good Men.” It’s where Jack’s character Colonel Nathan Jessup goes total Marine and screams, “You can’t handle the truth.” Did you see the movie? If not, you should because it’s a classic and that scene will be etched on your brain for eternity as a good reminder…
We all want it. Truth. Honesty. But maybe he was on to something. Maybe we can’t handle it.
Like when I hesitated with my son, I must have conveyed…“Whoa. I’m not too sure about this. I don’t really know if I like where this conversation is going,” because he caught on and asked, in so many words, if he’d have to adjust…
“Do you W-A-N-T me to be honest?”
Because seriously, isn’t that what we do? Secretly and silently gauge on some scale if someone can handle it? If they can handle US?
Too much. Not enough.
Not being honest almost recently cost me one of my closets friendships. I felt it building but couldn’t quite figure out what IT was. IT was anger. I was angry and I thought it was with her, but it had nothing to do with her, it was of course…with me. I had somehow along the way, gotten into a rut with this particular friend of telling her the truth, the whole truth and sometimes…everything BUT the truth. I told her what I thought she wanted to hear vs. what was really on my heart because what was really was on my heart, was some days…not pretty. Over the years, I began to feel resentful and bitter towards MY actions.
She represented everyone I had every went halves with.
Intimidated my her forthrightness, I hid mine and never fully showed up the table present and whole, just in pieces and parts. I short-changed us both and after a while, you do get sick of your own shit. And that is exactly what it was…no other word for it my friends.
So word to the wise, don’t ask questions unless you are prepared to swallow your pride and give someone space to fully be themselves; space for their own thoughts, opinions, perspectives, feelings and experiences. In fact, do not open your mouth to answer if you can’t offer someone the same…the WHOLE you. The honest and truthful you. It is not up to you to gauge if they can handle WHO you are.
What a concept.
One I am prepared in this leg of my journey to give. One I am prepared on this leg of my journey to receive.